The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was reported as 189,100 units in May, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, down from the revised 201,800 units in April.
"Housing starts decreased in both the singles and the multiples segments in May," said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC's market analysis centre. "The decrease in housing starts in May is consistent with our forecast that housing starts for 2010 will reach 182,000 units."
The seasonally adjusted annual rate for urban starts decreased by 9.5 per cent to 165,200 units in May.
Housing starts were previously expected to come in at an annualized rate of 205,000 for May. But the revised number is more in line with Canada's typical household-creation rate of 175,000 a year.